Richard Goodhead, Senior Vice President Marketing, Civil Aerospace at Rolls-Royce, sees the changes that will result from the company’s IntelligentEngine, launched as a concept in early February at the Singapore Airshow, as being “almost as big of a change as going from a piston engine to a gas turbine.”
Rolls-Royce already has intelligent engines in the Trent family, but the IntelligentEngine vision enables the company “to find new ways of pioneering power, whether that is through its engines installed today, through its future UltraFan engine design, or even through the hybrid-electric concepts of the future.”
The IntelligentEngine vision was born out of the realization within the company that “the worlds of product and service have become so closely connected that they are now inseparable.” This trend was first identified when Rolls-Royce introduced its TotalCare service in the 1990s and, since then, advancements in digital capability have further blurred the boundary between the two.
The coming together of product and service has been amplified by digital technology. In addition to designing, testing, and maintaining engines in the digital realm, the IntelligentEngine vision “sets out a future where an engine will be increasingly connected, contextually aware, and comprehending," helping to deliver greater reliability and efficiency:
- Connected – with other engines, its support ecosystem, and with its customer, allowing for regular, two-way flow of information between many parties
- Contextually aware – of its operating context, constraints and the needs of the customer, allowing it to respond to the environment, such as inclement weather, around it without human intervention
- Comprehending – learning from its own experiences and from its network of peers to adjust its behavior and achieve best performance
Rolls-Royce’s R2 Data Labs, an acceleration hub for data innovation launched in December 2017, will play a key role in achieving the aims of the IntelligentEngine. Using advanced data analytics, industrial artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, R2 Data Labs develops data applications that unlock design, manufacturing and operational efficiencies within Rolls-Royce. The company will be going into further details about the IntelligentEngine concept throughout the coming year.
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